He works hard, puts on more miles than a NASCAR driver, and since the end of summer Jason has been spending time with his dad in the hospital and working on a project that has taken him from home all but a couple of days each week. And after more than 13 years years together, I still miss him when he’s gone and I pray for his quick and safe return. When he does make it home, I like to have a homemade meal ready—like Once a Month Beer Chili Spaghetti or Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Hamburger and sometimes even dessert like Key Lime Cheesecake with Patrón Sauce or Cherry Crunchobblerumble. But the next morning when he fills three thermoses and two travel mugs with coffee and heads for the door, I like to surprise him with a bag of soft peanut butter cookies.
I don’t know if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but something keeps him coming home.
My routine for these cookies goes something like this: the day before I want fresh cookies I make the dough and put it in the refrigerator. The next day, I let the dough sit out for about half an hour and then I follow steps 7-9. In addition to the cookies for Jason, I like to give a few to my sisters and keep a few in the freezer for emergencies. (Remember we live in the country and can be snowed in for days at a time.)
Sweet wishes for the road,
Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1¼ cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup turbinado sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream softened butter for about 2 minutes.
- Add sugars. Cream on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add peanut butter and beat on medium until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Beat in eggs. Pour in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, stir together baking powder, baking soda, and flour. With the mixer on low, dump in about 1/2 a cup of the flour mixture (to the dough) and mix just until combined. Then stir in the remaining flour mixture in two batches, stirring just until combined.
- Roll into balls and roll in sugar. Flatten the balls on the cookie sheet and make a crisscross pattern with a fork. Sprinkle on a little more sugar.
- Bake 7-9 minutes or just until the edges start to turn light golden brown and the cookies begin to crack. They might not look completely done but if you leave them in the oven until they brown completely, they won't be soft. I actually like to make large cookies – 6 to a cookie sheet – and they need to bake for about 10-11 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets